Diaspora Youth Arrive in Israel for Top-Drawer Tech Challenge

December 26, 2013

Source: The Times of Israel


The Israel Tech Challenge, three years in the making, is taking place this week, with 25 of the best Jewish college students in the world (chosen from some 500 applicants) in Israel for an intense insider look at how the Start-Up Nation does its magic. The Challenge — a cooperative effort between The Jewish Agency, the Government of Israel, and private investors — is designed to connect top students from the diaspora with tools and networks to enrich their careers in the hi-tech industry, and to develop connections with the Israeli high-tech industry.


Throughout their trip, the group will be visiting R&D centers of top global companies, like PayPal and Google. They will also meet with successful start-up entrepreneurs, participate in lectures by leading tech experts, have sessions with the industry’s top mentors, and more.


Participants hail from the United States, France, and Argentina. Some already work as interns at leading companies as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Dropbox, while others are students at such top institutions as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Accompanying the group are several young Israeli tech entrepreneurs.


The current 12-day program is being conducted in conjunction with Taglit-Birthright Israel, and is the first the Challenge is sponsoring. This specific program is titled the Taglit Tech Challenge, but there are plans to run the program with other organizations, including Masa and Onward Israel. The next round of programs will be held next summer and will include a twelve-day program, as well as more extensive two and five month programs — essentially internship programs for students or graduates with top tech companies here.

The highlight of the current program will be a 36-hour hackathon to be held at PayPal’s Tel Aviv R&D center next week. The participants will be split into teams and will attempt to come up with innovative technology to solve several important social issues.


Read more at The Times of Israel.

Updated: Jan. 08, 2014